Because Mary Cheney has not fit their image of what the lesbian daughter of a prominent politician should be, most gay activists have dissed the younger child of the Vice-President they love to revile. Yet, in her own quiet way, this strong woman has done more to promote greater understanding of gay people than has the entire leadership of the gay “rights” organizations.
Mary has appealed to an audience, the audience we most need to reach as they harbor the greatest amount of animosity and ignorance against us, which most gay activists would rather malign than influence: social conservatives. By living a normal life (well, as normal a life as she can when her dad’s Vice President) and coming across as a loving daughter to her parents and partner to her beloved Heather, she shows people just how ordinary and non-threatening a gay person can be.
As the daughter of the Republican Vice President, she has had ready access to conservative circles. When her book was released, she appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s show, exposing his social conservative audience to her ordinary life as well as to her strong arguments for gay marriage.
As I was going through my accumulated e-mail earlier today, I learned that Mary Cheney gave more to the “No on 8” campaign than did the former heard of NGLTF, Matt Foreman. In writing on his story (with his typical anti-Republican hyperbole), blogger Petrelis does discover where that gay leader’s true priorities lie: he gave ten times as much to Democratic Party candidates as he did to a ballot initiative in his bailiwick.
I wonder how many gay bloggers on the left besides Petrelis have noted Mary’s largesse? They’d rather demonize her for not being the person they want her to be than praise her for the accomplished woman she is.
While Mary has done much to advance so many of the causes they support, they can never forgive her for her conservative politics. For them, one’s political ideology matters far more than one’s commitment to gay people.
As the most pro-gay Vice President in U.S. History leaves office next month, what gay organization will praise RIchard Cheney for providing a sterling example of how a man should treat his lesbian daughter and for defying the president who tapped him as his running mate on a gay issue? Don’t hold your breath. That pesky (R) after his name inoculates him, in their eyes, from doing any good.
Just as Mary’s failure to emulate Candace Gingrich prevents hear from winning the accolades she is in due.